Disaster risk reduction, development, diplomacy and defense communities have increasingly identified climate as a risk – and not just in the long term. For example, in the U.S. Department of Defense’s 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, the Pentagon states that climate risk “poses immediate risks to national security.” But beyond acknowledging the risks involved, what do these communities actually do to address these risks?
Moderator: Dr. Marga Gual Soler is a Project Director at the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC, where she fosters scientific relations between countries to address challenges across political, geographical and cultural divides. She holds a faculty position at Arizona State University, where she creates training initiatives to provide scientists and engineers with policy, communication, leadership and cross-cultural skills. Dr. Gual Soler is an editor for the open-access journal Science & Diplomacy and serves as Latin America coordinator of the World Association of Young Scientists (WAYS) under the auspices of UNESCO. She was recently appointed to the Research, Innovation and Science Experts (RISE) High-Level Advisory Body to European Commissioner Carlos Moedas. Dr. Gual Soler’s career spans more than 30 countries in four continents and she has been featured in international media outlets, including Science magazine, Scientific American, the Huffington Post and many Spanish language outlets. She holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University of Queensland in Australia, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Biology from University of Barcelona in Spain, and is an alumna of the Georgetown University Global Competitiveness Leadership Program.
Melanie Nakagawa, Member of the Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State. Melanie joined the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff in June 2013. Her portfolio includes climate change, energy, environment, and ocean issues. Previously, she served as the Senior Energy and Environment Counsel on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Prior to her government service, she was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She received her A.B. from Brown and her M.A. and J.D. from American University.
Jeffrey Stark, Director of Research and Studies, the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability (FESS). From 1996 to 2003, he was the director of research and studies at the North-South Center of the University of Miami, where he also was editor of the North-South Agenda Papers. At FESS, he has led environmental security assessments in the Dominican Republic, Uganda, and the Philippines as well as project activities in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia. He is co-editor of Fault Lines of Democracy in Post-Transition Latin America(North-South Center Press 1998), winner of the Choice outstanding academic book award, and editor of The Challenge of Change in Latin America and the Caribbean (North-South Center Press 2001). Recently, he has written on security, democratic governance, and problems of environmental security in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Since 2007, Mr. Stark has been a visiting professor at the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. He previously taught political science at St. Thomas University in Miami and served as a program officer in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency in New York City.
Daniel Y. Chiu is Deputy Director at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for strategy and force development in the US Department of Defense (DoD), where he was responsible for developing national defense strategy and guidance for defense investments in military force structure, technology, and non-materiel solutions. He led work for the Office of the Secretary of Defense on strategic planning with an emphasis on global trends in a complex, dynamic, and globalized security environment. He also oversaw the strategic analysis process, products, and community, using innovative methodologies and tools to assess and manage a wide range of disparate risks across the DoD. Appointed to serve in the Obama administration in 2009, Chiu led work on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, and the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review. During his time at DoD, Chiu placed special emphasis on improving strategic planning and analysis within the Department while increasing collaboration on strategic planning with interagency and international allies and partners.